My name is Liz. I need direction. I overuse commas, my house is a mess, my hair needs a trim and I have no marketable skills: It's fun here, you'll see!

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May 23rd, 2011

The Great Room Purge of 2011 (Part 1)

“We don’t want your things here anymore,” my parents basically told me a couple of months ago. We were all standing around in my childhood room, discussing its future. “We have more important things to put in here. Like linens. And guests.”

“Fine,” I replied. “I don’t need your house as storage anymore. I’m a big kid now. I buy lamps for fun and have a coffee maker. I can surely get rid of my old Ren & Stimpy books and Monty Python memorabilia.” Then I went home and cried because I totally don’t have room for all the stuff I have been keeping my parents’ house for over a decade. But, it really was time to get rid of all these things. It wasn’t fair I had an entire dusty room on hold in their home that I only used at Christmas. So after a healthy procrastination, I picked a date and drove over.

It was like the second half of a Hoarders episode: “Yeah. We can get rid of the miniature lawn gnome. I’m not attached anymore– NO NO NO DON’T THROW AWAY THAT JAR OF MELTED CANDLE WAX I MIGHT NEED IT FOR SOMETHING!”

But after two days, I had it all sorted: Toss, giveaway, take back to the apartment. You can guess which pile was larger.

Of course, as a nerd, and a blogger, I have documented most of the interesting crap I’ve pulled out of the heap. And I’d like to spend a few entries sharing it with you, if that’s okay.

First up: The Contents of The Sewing Kit I’ve Had Since Middle School.

My sewing kit is a green plastic box filled with patches I thought were “cool,” scraps of old t-shirts that stopped fitting me in the third grade, and balls of embroidery floss, which I found out the hard way sometimes have needles at their centers. Looking at this kit really gives you an idea of how wrong my Kindergarten teacher was when she told my Mom, “When Liz starts something, she always finishes it.” There are so many incomplete projects in there. For instance, there’s an old t-shirt I had cut up with the intention of turning into a lace-up v-neck. But, I didn’t understand the concept of fabric reinforcement so it’s just a stained Big Bad Voodoo Daddy shirt with a huge slice down the front that appears to have been chewed on by several very precise moths.

Then there was my foray into children’s clothing. After the successful completion of a cross stitch-your-own-bib kit from Joanne’s Fabrics, I thought that starting my own line of children’s clothing would be a snap. I already had one item in my inventory:

Cow Bib - 2

So all I needed was to make a few more things and I’d be ready to start. I knew that, besides brightly colored depictions of scenes from Mother Goose rhymes, parents liked to buy their kids things with phrases on them. And what sweeter phrase for a piece of children’s clothing thanĀ  “I Love You!”

I Love You Scrap-2

Or even “I Lov Y.” That would probably sell, right?

Additionally, I have no idea what I was planning to turn that into, given that it’s a five-inch piece of orange fabric leftover from the Lawnmower Man costume my mom made for my brother years before. Maybe a leg warmer? As you can see, I was counting on my superior embroidery skills and my liberal interpretation of the spelling of “Love” to sell my wares.

Judging by the way I stopped in the middle of a word, I’d say this item marks the end of my interest in making children’s clothing. But it didn’t mean I wasn’t still interested in customizing things with colored threads.

Take this antique handkerchief, for example.

Antique Handkerchief-2

At one time, I felt that the way to make it more appealing would be to emblazon it with the Dave Matthews Band’s initials.

DMB Marring-2

But not in the middle. And not in a straight line. Just, “DMB,” wherever the hell I felt like it. In a variety of colors and styles! Poll: Would any of you buy this? 0% Yes, 100% No.

This particular part of the Purge may have yielded nothing but failures, but what will the next installment hold? Tune in to find out!

4 comments to The Great Room Purge of 2011 (Part 1)

  • Steve the Cat

    You forgot to take your Stussy fine dinner napkin …

  • Norm Harney

    Liz- There will come a day when you find all your “stuff” begins to own you and restricts your freedom. For years I’ve been tossing things and have a sticky note I use on trash night to remind me to throw away as much as I can.

    I’m holding onto some family heirlooms that I’d like to give to my sons that they want, but they don’t have room for them. They’re just too big for their apartments like my grandmother’s trunk when she went through Ellis Island, a grandfather’s clock, etc.

  • Bolack

    If I were a parent, I would simply throw all my adult child’s belonging on a bonfire and make sure they showed up only at the point when every last object was unsalvageable.

  • […] the last installment of the Great Room Purge, we discussed the contents of my old sewing kit. Today, I thought I’d show you what I found […]

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